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COVID-19: Pesticide-Related News and Concerns

Disinfectants

Beware of fraudulent pesticide claims related to SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 coronavirus):

It has come to our attention that unregistered disinfectants claiming to protect against the virus are being marketed in the US. The efficacy and safety of these products is unsubstantiated and their use is illegal.

Regulators are taking steps to prevent such products from reaching the market, but it is your responsibility to use only those products designated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for use against SARS-CoV-2, listed at https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/covid19.pdf. Please check this list frequently, as content is subject to change.

Disinfecting Wipes (Lemon Scent)
EPA Reg. No.: 6836-313-777

To make sure you buy a product that will work, look for the EPA Reg. No. on the product label as shown here and check to see that the same number appears on the list on the website mentioned above. Use the product only as directed on the label.

Using Disinfectants

Be safe disinfecting your home:

Disinfectants are pesticides and you can only use them as directed by the label. Therefore:

  • Never mix different disinfectant products together because doing so is dangerous. For example, mixing bleach with acids (such as vinegar) or ammonia releases life-threatening toxic fumes.
  • Never use disinfectants or disinfectant wipes on your skin. Instead, wash with soap and water; you can also use hand sanitizer on your hands.
  • Never wash fruits and vegetables with soap, sanitizers, or disinfectants as this could also result in poisoning. Wash produce only in clean water.

For more information on disinfecting your home and how to handle food during this crisis, visit CDC and Cornell Institute for Food Safety.

Pesticide Applicators and Businesses

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is allowing temporary regulatory flexibility and continued pesticide application and business operations during Pause-NY due to the unique conditions facing New York and the entire nation.

Note that pesticide application certification and business registration are not required for using disinfectants in NY unless the disinfectant is:

  • A restricted-use pesticide; or
  • Used as an antimicrobial in cooling towers; or
  • Used as an antimicrobial in the pulp and paper mill process. Certification and business registration are not required to use disinfectants for other purposes in the mill.

The Cornell Store continues to fulfill online orders for pesticide applicator training manuals and Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines. If you run into difficulty with an order, contact the Cornell Store at store-orders@cornell.edu.

PMEP’s Distance Learning Center also continues to provide online recertification training.